For over a year now, I’ve been pouring into a business of my own making. Blogging. And through the toughest patches, I’ve learned the power of why. My why being my reason for doing this. For writing a blog, working unconventional hours in an unconventional way. Doing something so few of my closest friends and relatives have supported or even understood.
And after over a year of work, it’s time to do a recap. To share with others not just what I do, but why I do it. And hopefully it’ll inspire you to do the same. Because as much as I love working from home, there is a dark side to blogging. And it may surprise you.
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Blogging is About Freedom
For many months, I’ve been writing. Marketing. Researching. Trying first one tactic, then another. Always learning. Because believe it or not, blogging isn’t just about blogging.
Blogging is more than just writing. Although great content is what counts above all else.
Putting in long nights and early mornings. Working during children’s nap times. And sometimes, especially during the holidays, working every spare moment in between. It’s about creating a future for my kids. And it’s about something greater than me.
It’s for them.
Unlike other jobs, blogging provides not just an income, but flexibility.
Life happens. Sick kids, relatives in the hospital. Unexpected bills like a major appliance going out. And with most 9-5 jobs, I woudln’t have the ability to come home and take care of the more important. Because I’d be stuck at a job attending to the more urgent (but less important).
As my own boss, I make my own hours. So when my kids get sick, I’m home with them. When they get hurt at school, I can go pick them up without having to worry about whether or not I’ll be missing out on a paycheck. Or worse, that I’m endangering my job by putting my family first.
I’m grateful to God a hundred times over for blessing me with children and a stay at home job. So my priorities stay a priority. But it hasn’t been easy. Blogging is rewarding, but every dream, and every goal, takes sacrifice.
Every Dream Takes Time and Sacrifice
For example, I’d be lying to say that this journey has been all rainbows and sunshine. It hasn’t. Late nights are not my thing. And early mornings? I could do 5am for my kids, I did it for years. But to get in work before they wake? Sometimes an early morning looks more like 3am or 4am.
Several months ago I prayed and poured over several blogging resources. Knowing I’d reached the point where I could go at it alone no longer. I needed a mentor. A course and education. Something that I wasn’t getting out of the free posts all over the internet.
So I took a leap of faith and joined the Elite Blog Academy. The creme de la creme of the blogging community. And I started my courses with enthusiasm. Knowing, just knowing, that herein would lie treasure. Information I’d been much coveting.
Because again, if I’m being honest. I often feel as if I’m following this blogging dream without support.
When people ask what I do, I’m a work from home mom. I’m a stay at home mom, but I also work from home. Blogging, among other occupations. Like being a virtual assistant, freelance writer, and editor. And I also dabble in network marketing with Plexus.
It’s a lot. A lot of work, as in real work.
But although blogging and network marketing have been around for years now, it’s still foreign to some people that it’s more than a hobby. It’s a money making, work from home opportunity.
So I’ve suffered through lots of eye rolls from vague acquaintances, family, and friends. I’ve made time to work, when no one, not anyone, believe it’s worthwhile.
Blogging is Hard for Many Reasons
The dark side of blogging is that sometimes I’m isolated. Learning to become an entrepreneur, learning as I go. Working in a field that so many still don’t understand or recognized as a profession.
I’ve had to suffer, sometimes alone, through unhappiness and disappointment this past year. And there have been times my optimism has turned briefly to pessimism, and my pessimism into doubt. Because it’s really, really hard chasing a dream that only you can see.
I’ve thought on more than one occasion, “Am I doing the right thing? Pouring into a dream only I can see?” And I wonder.
I wondered that very thing almost exactly a year ago.
But hope is stronger than fear, as President Snow of the Hunger Games movie said. And my hope that all my hard work will pay off is stronger than my doubt. Stronger than my fear of failure.
It has to be. In order to keep going.
Hope is Stronger Than Fear
Here lately, nights like tonight have become the norm though. Despite doubts, and lack of support.
Despite life happening and putting a damper on my plans. I continue pursuing the dream.
After putting the kids to bed, instead of curling up on the sofa next to my husband watching one of my favorite movies, I’m downing cold pizza and hot tea in an effort to keep myself awake. Keep myself engaged.
Because there’s work to be done and the promise, or more accurately the HOPE, of a paycheck to be made.
But it’s not just a paycheck I’m working to make a reality. It’s a dream.
My Real Reason For Working So Hard
The dream that I’m slowly chipping away at is real freedom. Financial freedom yes, but also time freedom. Time to spend with my children. And time to spend traveling. Time to go and do things without being tied to a 9-5 job.
A dream not just of a supplemental income, but a full time income with no income ceiling.
Hopes of becoming debt free and geographically free. Because, as I’ve said before, more money equals more time. And time is what is most important.
Time Is Our Most Valuable Resource
To travel home more often, to see grandparents more often, to see the places my children and I have visited through the years more often.
Blogging will one day (soon) afford me time. Time that a traditional 9-5 job cannot.
Right now I’m working early mornings and late nights out of necessity. But my children are still my first priority, right after faith, and so my days revolve around them. Because of the flexibility of this job, they can.
Before they wake and after they sleep, though, that’s when I can fit in my work. My blogging. And the dark side is that I’m sacrificing support from friends and family now. Whereas in a job outside the home, they’d be more … respecting. There would be a clearer picture of what those hours away from sleep and loved ones is earning. A consistent paycheck would be coming in. A paycheck based on hours at the office or drive through, not performance.
But I woudln’t feel fulfilled. Handing out burgers and fries, for me personally, doesn’t leave me feeling purposeful- although I’ve done it. Three solid years in customer service oriented food service positions. I know what that’s like. It’s thankless and underpaid. With little room for advancement. And the pay is the same no matter if 2 people ordered in an hour or over 100 ordered in an hour.
Blogging is more about performance and reach. And with this platform, I have the opportunity to (hopefully) inspire others. To live their dreams and learn from my mistakes.
The Key To Success in Blogging
I’ll admit that throughout the past year, closer to year and a half accurately, I’ve thought about tossing in the towel more than once though. Yes, I’ve honestly thought about giving up.
In fact, when over the summer it came time to renew my domain, I briefly considered, well… not. Not renewing.
Not because I didn’t love SiteGround, I do, and not because I don’t love writing. I always have.
But because after all this time pouring into this creature of a blog and fighting to learn new skills and marketing tactics and new social media platforms…
It has seemed at times, impossible.
And the easy thing would have been to say, I give up.
But I didn’t. And here’s why.
What Does A Great Body and A Great Business Have in Common?
What do a great body and a great business have in common? The secret to their success is the same and here it is.
Here is the secret. The secret for what you have to do. Have to enroll in. Have to buy in order to be successful as a blogger.
The secret to getting a great body and a great blogging business is…
You have to put in the work.
It’s that simple. But no, it’s not easy either.
You have to work.
As much as I wanted Elite Blog Academy, my enrollment in the course, to equal overnight success… it didn’t.
No course can do that for you. Just like no single college course can put you on the fast track to success. It’s impossible.
And Ruth Soukup, the founder of EBA is actually up front with her potential clients before they even purchase EBA that it is NOT a magic bullet for success. Because there is no magic bullet.
And if you don’t put in the work required of the course. Or of your business. It will fail. You will become disheartened. And you will quit.
But quitting is a choice, like any other.
So my advice? Don’t.
Don’t Give Up
Take it from someone who has been there. Who is still here. Don’t give up. If you want this bad enough, then keep working. Keep working.
Almost 18 months I’ve been doing this blog. And despite the work Ive put in, it has not yielded what I’ve wanted.
My numbers aren’t where I want. My paycheck not what I think it should be.
And in fact as I sought wise counsel just earlier this week, I was asked, why do you keep pouring in? You’re not reaping much of anything despite sowing so much.
So again. Why? Why have I not quit in the face of such obstacles. So much work. So little return. No support.
Let me tell you what I have to remind myself of often.
Because my why is what drives me, on my best days and on my worst.
It is my reason I keep this up. Call it hope, call it faith, call it foolishness.
My why is my children. Our future. Their future.
I dream of having a savings account for each of them with enough of a legacy in it that they never want for anything. That they never have to make the sacrifices that I have.
I want for my children what every good mother wants. Something better than what she, or I, had. And I don’t necessarily mean material.
I know the value of hard work and perseverance, and truly, I believe that adversity builds character. It’s biblical by the way.
“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”
I have known hard times the likes of which I never want my children or another family member to have to suffer through. A story for another day certainly. And as I have learned from my mistakes, I am hoping to prevent my children having to learn the hard way, too.
I also dream of having more quality time with them. Being able to go on vacations with them, as we did when they were younger. Being able to travel to all the bases we saw when they were toddlers. And I realize that money opens doors that will alone, and skill, and brains, sometimes cannot. That’s realism, the world we live in. I may not agree, but no one asked.
And so, I keep plugging away. Hoping. Praying. Yes, always praying. Praying that my business will bear fruit, and that God will bless it ten fold. Not because I am deserving. But because of my why. My children. And a future.
Great Things Come To Those Who Persevere
So why do I share? Why do I share my struggles and explain my reason?
Because I hope it inspires and encourages others to do the same. I hope it inspires you, too.
To chase your dreams full on. And to work through and persevere even when you are lacking support. To hold tight to your why, your reason for even starting. Because all work becomes hard work at times, no matter how much you love it. And working for yourself, even on your worst day, has to be better in some ways than working for anyone else. If you’re not chasing your dreams, you’re fueling someone else’s, I assure you.
I just wish someone had told me years ago what I am telling you. That it is possible. It is very possible. To make a living from home, without ever having to leave your babies or sacrifice your morals or time for an employer to which you are just a number.
So keep going. Keep chasing those dreams and praying. And may God bless your efforts and mine. And perhaps one day, we’ll be encouraging each other, together.
If you found this post encouraging, then leave a comment below. If it inspired you or if you’re in a similar spot with your own business, blog or life, where you feel like giving up, please don’t. You only fail when you quit trying.
Progress may be slow. It may be painfully slow. But I assure you, if this is what you want to do, then decide to work for it. And do so.
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